Matthew Parris and author Tracy Chevalier discuss the life of the woman who discovered full dinosaur skeletons on Dorset's Jurassic Coast.
Matthew Parris and his guest - novelist Tracy Chevalier - discuss the life of Mary Anning, the working class woman from Lyme Regis who discovered full dinosaur skeletons on Dorset's Jurassic Coast and sold them to collectors in the early 1800s. They are joined by Hugh Torrens, Emeritus Professor of History of Science and Technology at the University of Keele. Mary's remarkable finds came before Charles Darwin's theory of evolution and she believed them at first to be giant crocodiles, but as scientists began flocking to Lyme Regis to buy her specimens, she started to educate herself in geology, becoming an authority on fossils.
However, as with many of the subjects of Great Lives, she was never fully credited for her efforts and faded from public consciousness after her death.
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Producer: Maggie Ayre.